Refine Your Search

Filtering and refining your search is one of the most important features on The Lens. While you may start with a simple query, you can use filters to drill down into the data to get more precise result sets. This may help you find a specific patent you are looking for, or help you clearly define a landscape of documents for analysis, or just help you explore the connections and relationships within the patent literature. Filters on The Lens are faceted, so you can see the number of results captured by each filter within a search. This is incredibly useful when exploring the content of your search.

Each filter can be selected and then activated by hitting the “refine” button. You will then see a red box over each filter tab, showing you how many active filters you have in that tab. You can use the “clear” button to remove filters, or simply make a new search to start again from scratch. A new search can be made at any time by clicking the down arrow next to the Refine button. You can also use the “view on graph” button within any filter tab to see those filters represented as a graph on the Graphical Analysis tab.

All filtering options alter the number of documents included in your results, if you’re only interested in rearranging the order of the documents in your results please look at our page on Sorting Your Search.

Filtering Options

Refine Search Terms

  • In the search box above other filtering options you can see your current search terms. If you would like to modify these terms you can simply edit this text and hit the refine button.
  • Alternatively use the arrow next to the refine button to use those search terms in a new search (with all previous filters removed), or navigate to the Structured Search or Biological Search pages.


  • Select between “Published” or “Filed” dates to search documents by one of these parameters.
  • You can select a preset date option of “Last 3 Months”, “Year to Date”, “Last Year” or you can set your own custom date range.


  • Select to include or exclude a selection of jurisdictions from your search.
  • Choose between the top jurisdictions represented in your search, or click “Choose More” to select from our full list of available jurisdictions.


  • Select from the list of the top inventors for your search to limit your results to only documents with any of the selected inventors listed.
  • You can also search for an inventor, which will display only results where an inventor of the document matches (or partially matches) the name you searched for.

Owners US

  • Select from the list of the top US Owners (assignment data sourced from the USPTO) for your search to limit your results to only documents with any of the selected owners.


  • Select from the list of the top applicants for your search to limit your results to only documents with any of the selected applicants.


  • You can filter your results to show only items you have in collections or marked with notes, or you can filter by tags you’ve added to items.
  • You can also filter your results to only include documents from specific Cambia Landscapes or which have notes from said Landscapes.

Document Families

  • The “Group by Simple Families” option will modify your results so they only display one patent from each patent family. A patent family is a set of either patent applications or publications taken in multiple countries to protect a single invention by a common inventor(s) and then patented in more than one country. Find out more about patent families at the EPO website here: . This option is great for filtering out the numerous duplicates of the same invention. Note that this option may disrupt the number of search results displayed in the page breadcrumbs, it may also cause the “select all” add and remove functions to slow down noticeably.
  • You can select jurisdictions to include only families which have at least one member in the jurisdictions selected. You can choose from the full list of jurisdictions using the choose more button.

Document Types

  • Select from the list of the top document types for your search to limit your results to only documents of those types.


  • Select from the top IPCR or US Classifications for your search results to limit your results to only documents with at least one of those classifications.


  • Select either Nucleotide (DNA) or Amino Acids (Protein) as the sequence type, to find only documents with that at least one sequence of that type.
  • Select from the top species listed to limit your search to only documents with sequences declared as originating from any of the selected species.
  • Search for a biological organism to limit your search to only documents with sequences declared as originating from any species which matches (or partially matches) your species search term.

Query Tools

  • You can limit your search to only display results where we have full text currently available.
  • Select a query language other than English to search for documents in other languages.
  • Stemming of results can be turned on or off, by default it is turned on. Stemming is an algorithm which modifies your search so only the “stems” of words are checked. For example with stemming on the words: “run”, “runner” and “running” are all treated the same in both the query and in target documents. With stemming turned on you will get more results at the cost of some accuracy, and when it is turned off you will have higher accuracy but might miss close results. Read more about stemming on wikipedia.